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Other Books You Like Besides Fantasy

Philip Overby

Article Team
I wonder if everyone here reads only fantasy? Surely not. I have to say, I almost exclusively read fantasy but I have the tendency to read history, horror, Japanese language books, or slipstream (is that still a word?) on occasion. What are some other genres you like? I figure most people would say sci-fi, although I've never got into sci-fi for some reason. Although I bet there's lots of good stuff, I've just never given it a real shot.

Anyway, what are other books you read besides fantasy?


Sci-fi. :D

History, mythology, many sciences, reference material of nearly any nature, language, poetry, comics... uhm, I'm sure there are others, though it's getting near the time of day my brain shuts down (that is, the sun will rise soon...).

In part, it depends on how narrowly you choose to define any given genre: I might say I like books on "art," but I'm considerably more interested in books with color photos of Renaissance paintings than I am on books explaining welding techniques for postmodern scrap-metal sculpture. At any rate, if I can think of anything that would meaningfully contribute to the foregoing, I'll tack it on later.


I read utterly anything and everything. I really enjoy historical fiction, general literature, biographies... anything that's well written, really.

Specific recent books include The Help by Kathryn Stockett, That Woman by Anne Sebba (all about Wallis who broke up King Edward so his younger brother took the throne - for those who don't know much about the royal family, think of the movie The King's Speech) and Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi.

Fantasy is my favourite to write though, so here I am :) It's important to read a lot in your genre - a lot of authors say you should try to read at least 60-80 books a year in able to improve your writing style.


I mostly read fantasy but there are a couple books that I like. With these it's specifically the book, not the author or the genre. As I lay Dying by William Faulkner is hilarious, we read it in my English class and the teacher and I had a discussion about how the book was funny and the rest of the class was looking at us like "what are you two smoking?!?" they didn't get the humor. Also the Book Thief by Markus Zusak which I just liked. I guess if I had to choose a genre outside of Fantasy I liked it would be Mystery though I do not read it very often.


I read anything that gets too close to my face. Right now I'm reading a fantasy book, which is the first one I've read in a while, and an electronics textbook, and FrameMaker manuals. Those last two because I need to look intelligent when I start my job writing electronics procedures in FrameMaker. Lately, though, I've been reading paranormal romances. Not sure why.


I love mysteries, Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie are a couple of my favorite authors. Also literary fiction. Some of my favorite books are The Poisonwood Bible,To Kill a Mockingbird, The Little Friend, there are lots of others but I can't think of them at the moment.


I read all books especially if the first couple of pages catch my interest. Never got into to much sci-fi, I think only books i read that had sci-fi were the Dragonriders of Pern and of course Ender's Game and the following stories from Orson Scott Card. I read really really fast so i typically go for longer books like some of the Harry Potter, Farsala trilogy, or the Diane Duane young wizards series. Not much into horror, read some King but they weren't very horrific more boring actually. I enjoyed To Kill a Mockingbird, Walk two moons and brave new world. I'm into paranormal romance right now and I mean the good paranormal romance, gotta have the crazy hot sex scenes! The authors I have been reading are Christine Feehan's Dark Series, Christine Warren's novels of the others, Kresley Cole's immortals after dark, Lynsay Sands Argenuea family. Historical Romance all the way, can't go wrong with Hannah Howell. I've also read some autobiographys. The life and times of Mary Rowlandson (as much fun as it was to read i hated the lady) my favorite was Harriet Jacobs fraught with suspense, thrills and dangers!
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I have a short attention span. Or, I guess, I have a narrow range of things that can hold my interest for a long time. I'll read some Sci fi. Back in high school I read pretty much everything Anne McCaffery ever wrote: Dragonriders, The Rowan, Freedom's Landing, whatever. After college I got really in to Orson Scott Card, though his books are so dense (thought-wise) that I can only read a few before I have to take a break and go to a different author for a while. I also love a well-done historical fiction. I read random chick-lit, but really, probably only two of those in my life. I'll also pick up a romance once in a while.

I like a well-written non-fiction, but it's hard to stay interested in those unless the author has a really engaging voice. Hopefully all you serious readers won't laugh at me, but I get my learning fix from the specials on the Discovery/History Channel now that I can't attend college lectures... I absorb better that way. Auditory learner.

Mostly, though, if I'm not reading fantasy these days I'm reading Dr. Suess. Who was brilliant, by the way. :)
The various volumes on the tree of wisdom (not an official title..just a summation) by Mr. Paulo Coehlo.

There is not better.

I dare you to read.

Some of my favorites in no particular order:

The Alchemist
Eleven Minutes
I Sat Down by the River Piedra and Wept
The Fifth Mountain



I love me my thrillers. I read a thriller about every 3rd or 4th book just to mix things up. I have also been studying them to try and improve my fantasy writing and throw some different elements into the mix. I also like me my historical fiction like Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe Series and Simon Scarrow's Cato Series. I've read some of Coehlo's stuff which I liked quite a bit. I also delve into Chinese fiction like Three Kingdoms, Journey to the West, Heroes of the Marsh, Judge Di, and any wuxia (swordsman) novels I can get in English.

Somethings I've read recently include -

Judge Di and the Gold Bell Murders
Under the Eagle - Simon Scarrow
Rogue Angel - Destiny - Alex Archer (a guilty pleasure pulp action novel)
American Conspiracies - Jesse Ventura
Grim Reaper End of Days - Steve Alten
Seven Ancient Wonders - Matthew Reilly
Lies the Government Told You - Andrew Napolitano
Pendergast Series - Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child


:cool:does it have words? That is the way I describe my reading habits else where. In order of preference: (after fantasy) Sci-Fi, Thrillers, Romance, Westerns, Historicals (especially Bernard Cornwell or WEB Griffen), Tech manuals, erotica.... anything else!


I only recently started reading fantasy again, but now, it's mostly ebooks from fellow amateur writers like myself. Now that I'm older, I find myself reading more nonfiction. However, my favorite all-time books include:

The Cheese Monkeys by Chip Kidd
The Beach by Alex Garland
The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Choke by Chuck Palahnuik
The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

I like a lot of Russian lit, Chicano lit, and comic books. I don't read too many new books because it seems like they're made into movies before I even hear about them, e.g. Eragon, Twilight, Lovely Bones, The Girl Who Does Dangerous Things. I usually rent the movie and skip the book. Besides, $25 for a book is way too much. :)


Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas- Hunter S. Thompson
Homage to Catalonia- George Orwell
I am America and so can You!- Stephen Colbert
Common Sense- Thomas Paine
and pretty much any history book i can get my hands on.


I am a lover of books so I am not too picky. My other favorites away from fantasy would have to be mysteries. I enjoy trying to
figure out the answer before the book ends, and I love the thrill of the surprises. I also enjoy to read some historical fiction or
cultural fiction. I am always fascinated by the truths of how others in society live.
I love short stories. Things like Kelly Link or George Saunders are amazing. And they are a bit hyperreal and fantastical which is great. I also love reading World War II biographies. For all the time I spend in the fantasy world, sometimes it's nice to spend time with people who have done something extraordinary.
East of Eden by Steinbeck
The Inferno
Locke's Second Treatise on Government
The Leviathan by Hobbes
The Spirit of the Laws by Monesquie
The Art of War

To name a few.


Lots of classics - pretty international, there, I like French, English, Russian, Japanese, Chinese. Vladimir Nabokov is one of my favourite authors. Bunch of Latin American authors, particularly magic realism and whatnot. Borges, Cortazar, Marquez. Horror and sci-fi, unsurprisingly. Westerns - particularly Cormac McCarthy. I also am rather fond of poetry. Arthur Rimbaud, Robert Frost, Algernon Swinburne, Alexander Pushkin. I own a few reference books on odd topics (near all related to my fantasy writing endeavors; I have a book on ancient warfare and weaponry, a book on pestilence, a book on mythology), but I wouldn't say I really read them. I just look things up in them if I need to know something in particular.
I'm a hypocrite, yes. To tell you all the truth, I really don't read fantasy. *Turn away in shame.* To me, the pace of many fantasy books pales compared to my normal reads. Most typically, I read thriller. I'm a sucker for action. (Not as much as I am for alternate worlds, but what's a world without intense action?) And pretty well always fiction. Although a well written nonfiction could catch my attention for a few pages.


Apart from the obvious (SF/horror), lots and lots of history and political philosophy. I also have a certain fondness for well-written detective stories. :D


I read anything really, I love Jodi Picoult books especially those that deal with law, like Nineteen Minutes, The Pact, Salem Falls, My Sister's Keeper. I also enjoy reading Paulo Coelho like Brida, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, Veronika Decides to Die. Now I've started to read John Green. I'm currently reading Looking for Alaska and I just bought An Abundance of Katherines :) Pretty good!